Vastavam web: The pitch at the Barabati Stadium, untested for about a year, and former skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni attracted maximum attention on the eve of the T20 series opener between India and Sri Lanka here.Dhoni headed straight to the 22-yard strip after dropping his kit bag and examined it minutely from both ends.In the only T20I played here on October 5, 2015 India collapsed for 92 to lose to South Africa.
But in an ODI exactly 11 months ago, India and England aggregated more than 700 runs, with Dhoni and Yuvraj Singh’s centuries helping the team to a narrow win after it notched up up a mammoth 381 for six.A fews days ago, students from a club were made to use the pitch as a test event. According to an official, it was a two-paced wicket that aided bounce from one end.
He said, “Every effort is being made to produce a sporting wicket where at least 180 runs are scored.” Dhoni had the first feel of the surface. He had a brief net session and called a left-arm spinner to bowl at his pads.The World Cup winning former captain was the cynosure of India’s two-hour training session as a crowd of about five- thousand turned up chanting ‘Dhoni Dhoni’.Having bagged the Tests series 1-0, India suffered a defeat in the first ODI before producing a 2-1 result.